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Thursday, October 27

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photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR Back during the American Revolution there were a lot of radical ideas floating around, one of which was “no standing army.” In those days before police existed, the army was what the rulers used to plunder the productive and keep the people under the rulers’ thumbs: “the sharp point of the spear.” The Crown used it that way in Boston. So naturally, the people were having none of that. Of course one of the first things the...
Original article To understand the marketplace, it is not necessary to believe in the existence of a selfish, profit-maximizing human.    
Original article War, what is it good for? In America, the answer is that, much of the time, you’ll probably never know what it’s good for – or, in some cases, even notice that we’re at war. 
Original article Unaffected by elections. Unaltered by populist movements. Beyond the reach of the law. Say hello to America’s shadow government. A corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are, in essence, running the country, this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.  
Original article Not unlike the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—where private military contractors fed, trained, equipped, and protected U.S. military forces “on the ground” in unprecedented numbers—an escalation of hired security forces in a hot spot like Syria would likely boost the presence of U.S. “boots” without causing the political heartburn of putting more actual soldiers and Marines in harm’s way.
Original article If this election season does not cure you of voting at any level in a statists enterprise, you have been paralyzed from the neck up in a skiing accident. When you pull that lever, it is a declaration of war on your neighbor. Use this time to tend to your preps.
Original article In the middle and later decades of the eighteenth century arguments began to be made questioning the Mercantilist conception of society and the economy. Two leading centers for this change in ideas were France and Scotland. These ideas undermined the rationales for government regulation and control of economic activities in society. In its place there arose a conception and vision of a free society based on individual liberty, free trade, and market-based and directed prosperity. 
Original article Financial systems, like economies generally, are organic entities. They must be allowed to flourish in a natural way.  Financial innovations will, no doubt, lead to occasional troubles even absent government interference. But those troubles will in turn sponsor further innovations aimed at correcting them. Over time, a stable and highly efficient system tends to develop. 
Original article People imagine that they own themselves and that they are free. But don’t tell that tale to the tax men. They know who really owns you.    
Original article The government’s decision to centralize doesn’t imply a solution to the infinite information problem. It only reveals the state’s presumptuousness.
Original article Social network loosening community standards for newsworthy events instead.  
Original article A recent Wikileaks dump reveals, for the first time, the precise financial flows between the Clinton Foundation, Doug Band’s firm Teneo Consulting, and the Clinton family’s private business endeavors.  
Original article Thanks to Wikileaks, we now have the smoking gun email irrefutably proving not only did President Barack Obama know about Hillary Clinton’s non-government-issued email account, he used it in correspondence with her.    
Original article Snowden tweeted this week, saying that "no matter your opinion" of the site or the founder, "censorship is never the answer."   
Original article Officially, of course, the national bird of the United States is that half-a-peace-sign that Philadelphia sports fans like to hold up at opposing teams. But unofficially, the film "National Bird" has it right: the national bird is a killer drone.  
The First & Last Tabloid Presidential Elections?
Douglas Herman 2016-05-05 07:17
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Our Republic Reels from Absurdity to Obscene in Prez Selection 2016   Maybe I’m getting old. At 66, I certainly don’t recall another presidential election so entertaining in a sleazy, openly corrupt sort of way.  I don’t recall Nixon vs. Kennedy with such rancor and mud-slinging.  I was ten at the time, in 1960. ...
Light, Metal, Shadow: The Freedom of Welding
Alex R. Knight III 2016-05-03 08:07
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR I suppose my first serious exposure to the trade, craft, and art of welding came during a brief five-month stint I did working for a railroad company. Technically, my job title was that of forklift driver, loading and unloading rail cars when freight came in to a small ex-airport on the Vermont side of the Connecticut River. On days when no such...
Not Surprised: Thoreau Pissed Off Some New Yorkers
Douglas Herman 2016-04-26 07:24
Column by Douglas Herman. Exclusive to STR Years ago, while working in LA as a struggling scriptwriter, I observed that Hollywood is a Moronocracy:  movies made by morons, for morons and about morons.  Rainman, Forrest Gump, Waterboy, Dumb & Dumber, Batman vs. Superman, etc. You see the trend? Intelligent, insightful opinions, subtlety, cleverness, playful and caustic remarks have...
A Method For Achieving Panarchy (Part 1)
Paul Bonneau 2016-04-22 07:50
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR I wrote up a recipe for achieving Panarchy, and posted it on a forum frequented by anarchists. It was intended as a focus for discussion more than an actual plan of events. This is a slight re-write, version 2. *What is Panarchy?* Panarchy is that condition, when people are affected by, and can only affect, those political institutions and structures in a...
What's a Public Purpose?
Paul Hein 2016-04-21 08:08
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR The next time you’re in Missouri, go to the penitentiary in Jefferson City. As a visitor, of course: a tourist. The penitentiary is now retired from active duty, and its conscriptees confined to a newer facility some distance away. But the original building, grim and grey, is open for tours. I’ve toured Alcatraz, which held about 500 prisoners at...
A Place Somewhere Beyond 'White Man's Burden' and 'I Hate N*ggers'
Paul Bonneau 2016-04-21 07:38
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR The typical arguments about race are so common and predictable, I wonder why people can’t find something different to talk about. It’s funny how similar the two seemingly disparate positions are, if you think about it. The so-called “liberal” position, AKA “White Man’s Burden,” is in agreement with what “...
Top Ten Reasons to Love Airbnb
Retta Fontana 2016-04-15 07:30
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR For the uninitiated, is an online network for connecting people who have spaces in their homes, apartments, or castles to rent out temporarily and travelers who are looking for accommodations. Airbnb is secure and worldwide, although obviously more available in some places than others. It is an idea whose time has come. Here are my top ten...
Funny Non-Money
Paul Hein 2016-04-01 07:41
Column by Paul Hein. Exclusive to STR There is the possibility, as pointed out by writers on subjects financial, that the government, which is in debt up to, and beyond, its ears, might seize the retirement funds of its subjects. By this means, we are told, our Rulers might reduce their debt by paying off at least part of it with the stolen--er, taxed--funds. In truth, in seizing its subjects...
Cash Is King
Retta Fontana 2016-03-31 07:44
Column by Retta Fontana. Exclusive to STR “What do we want?” “Freedom!” “When are we taking it?” “Now!” After a lengthy sabbatical, it’s great to be back at the keyboard! I’ve been through seven lean years of transition. (Hopefully to be followed by seven fat ones.) During my sabbatical from writing, I pushed a pencil, sold...
A Thought Experiment in Rights
Paul Bonneau 2016-03-23 08:16
Column by Paul Bonneau. Exclusive to STR A thought experiment is a useful device for getting down to the truth of things. For example, Einstein discovered the Special Theory of Relativity through a series of thought experiments; certainly back in those days, there weren’t many trains actually running near the speed of light! I noticed in another forum, in one of my discussions about rights...
A Juggernaut of Destruction
George F. Smith 2009-02-19 17:00
Exclusive to STR February 20, 2009 Nature is stingy; the things we need to sustain life above a primitive level are scarce. Fresh tomatoes, iPods, and rotator cuff surgery do not come forth as easily as the air we breathe, and thus man had to discover on his own how to produce or acquire them.
Ringo's Law and the Healthcare System of Doom
Glen Allport 2009-08-12 16:00
Exclusive to STR - 1 - The Law Some years ago, noted philosopher Ringo Starr described an important and now-famous discovery: "Everything government touches turns to crap." That observation clearly deserves elevation in status from the mere "something Ringo said" to the more formal Ringo's Law. Ringo's Law generates accurate predictions and explains events in useful fashion;...
Separation of Me and State
B.R. Merrick 2009-07-26 16:00
Exclusive to STR I listened to Dr. Laura every once in a while years ago, back when I was proudly religious and conservative. She was, and I assume still is, unabashedly conservative. She took a lot of abuse for it, but she stuck with it. (Of course, it did make her a millionaire.) One time when I was listening, a man called in to tell her that a young woman he knew had just had an abortion...
Anthony Gregory 2004-07-13 16:00
If anarchism means anything, it is a rejection of the state, meaning, a rejection of an institution claiming and maintaining a monopoly on violence. Of course, anarchists find themselves in the real world, in which such monopolies clearly exist. Some of the things states do we might even approve of, at least circumstantially. If an anarchist is being mugged, and a police officer comes by to stop...
The Greatest Tragedy
Anthony Gregory 2004-05-16 16:00
The greatest tragedy in our culture is the widely accepted lie that the wars in U.S. history, since after the American Revolution, have been necessary, proper and even glorious. And this lie has been swallowed, parroted, and perpetuated by many of those who call themselves conservatives, liberals, progressives, socialists, constitutionalists, 'libertarians' and even 'anarchists'--all to the fatal...
Why Deism and Corrupt Government Don"t Mix
Robert L. Johnson 2004-12-16 17:00
It's been my experience when talking to people about religion, that the overwhelming majority of them have never heard of Deism. Hopefully, with the recent conversion of world-famous philosopher and atheist, Antony Flew, to Deism, this will begin to change. The lack of knowledge of Deism is highly unusual given the strong role Deism has played in the history of Europe and America. But, as FDR is...
Libertarianism in One Sentence
Roderick Long 2004-05-30 16:00
David Bergland once offered Libertarianism in One Lesson. I would like to offer libertarianism in one sentence. The most succinct formulation of libertarianism I can think of is this: Other people are not your property. In other words: They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labour are not yours to dispose...
I Remember
strike 2004-05-08 16:00
I remember how, after the brakes went out on the station wagon after coming down a hill, she reached over just before we crashed and held me back against the seat with her arm. I remember that vividly even though I was only a little boy. That probably saved my life, as my head still cracked the windshield. I remember how she'd pick us up from swimming lessons and take us to Vacation Bible...
Wheat and Chaff
Bill Butler 2009-12-08 17:00
Exclusive to STR 'His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.' ~ Matthew 3:12 So much of life is about: (1) making distinctions; and (2) making choices. Indeed, the meaning and consequence of all our lives can fairly be said to be a test of our free will choices and the rational,...
Jim Davies 2009-10-25 17:00
Exclusive to STR  Where and when did government start? It's quite a mystery. Given that human beings are basically harmless creatures, how did it happen that an inherently violent institution arose in human society, whose whole raison d'tre is always to destroy the fundamental human right of self-governance? The question is important not just to satisfy historical understanding, but to...
Do We Need a Vaccine for Hubris? MUST READ
D. Saul Weiner 2015-02-13 09:13
Column by D. Saul Weiner. Exclusive to STR There are a lot of heated exchanges going on right now in social media related to vaccination. Many people have become convinced that parents who do not vaccinate are jeopardizing the health of others and that vaccines for children should be mandated. Politicians who are expected to run for president in 2016 are starting to weigh in on the topic and some...
'Obamacare Nightmare Edition' of Ringo's Law and the Healthcare System of Doom MUST READ
Glen Allport 2013-10-30 08:02
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Introduction for this 2013 Edition As I write this – October 28, 2013, more than four years after the column below was posted (here with minor edits; see the original at this link if you wish) – NBC News is reporting that the Obama administration “knew millions could not keep their health insurance" under Obamacare, and has known...
An Armed March on Washington? MUST READ
Alex R. Knight III 2013-05-07 06:52
Column by Alex R. Knight III. Exclusive to STR Perhaps never before have I encountered a proposal within Liberty Movement circles that has generated more controversy faster and further than Adam Kokesh’s planned July 4th march on Washington, District of Criminals, in which he states that himself and the other participants “will march with rifles loaded & slung across our backs to...
The Orwellian Paradigm--Killing You, For Your Own Safety MUST READ
fmoghul 2013-04-10 08:12
Column by Faisal Moghul. Exclusive to STR Almost 30 years ago, cultural critic Neil Postman argued in Amusing Ourselves to Death that television’s gradual replacement of the printing press has created a dumbed-down culture driven by mindless entertainment. In this context, Postman claimed that Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World correctly foresaw our dystopian future, as opposed to George...
Frameworks, Virtual Reality and Civil Society: A Manifesto for the Doctrine of Love and Freedom MUST READ
Glen Allport 2012-12-06 08:44
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR Perhaps I should say this paradigm shift is resuming. The healthier incoming paradigm is a modern, more accurate, better-supported, and better-understood version of one that began the shift towards a free, healthy, and prosperous world more than three centuries ago and which informed the creation of the United States itself: Classical Liberalism. - 1...
Timeline of a World-Killing Paradigm Shift MUST READ
Glen Allport 2012-05-14 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Part 3 of "Could the Non-Aggression Principle Stop the Sixth Great Extinction?"   Part One of this series discussed the Non-Aggression principle, calling it "the libertarian half of the Golden Rule" (compassion being the other half) and describing the function of aggression in creating not only tyranny and war but also...
Terrorist Alert: Government Extremists Threaten Americans MUST READ
Glen Allport 2012-03-26 00:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR   Question: are you more terrified by Muslim extremists, by "domestic terrorists" – or by your own government? Which group is more likely to assault you? To kill you? To unjustly imprison and even torture you?   The U.S. federal government has ALREADY:   Built and is staffing a huge gulag of concentration camps [...
The State Is a Firing Squad MUST READ
JGVibes 2012-02-17 01:00
Column by JGVibes.   Exclusive to STR   Although the common perception of human nature is very negative, the truth is that most people who aren’t mentally ill have a very difficult time committing acts of violence. Usually it takes a sizeable payment and a fair amount of manipulation to convince someone to act violently, and even then a tremendous amount of guilt typically...
How the 1% Took America's Wealth--and How to Get It Back MUST READ
Glen Allport 2011-12-01 01:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR  - 1 - Plundering Wealth vs Producing Wealth   In recent decades, the rich have gathered an increasing share of the total wealth in the United States. As this wealth disparity grows and especially as large numbers of the formerly middle class fall into poverty and even into homelessness, this flow of wealth from main street (from anyone not...
'Anarchy or Minarchy' Is Only Half the Question, Part 2 MUST READ
Glen Allport 2011-04-13 03:00
Column by Glen Allport. Exclusive to STR  This is Part 2 of a response to a column by Wesley Messamore. Last week's Part One of this column discussed the following:   ·      Minarchy: Lighting a Match to the Fuse of Tyranny ·      Anarchy: By Itself, Yang without Yin ·      The Missing Key...